Purpose

Lately, I’ve been thinking of the word purpose. What is purpose and why do we need to have (a) purpose?

Well, as I do with all my words… here is what the dictionary/Wiki tells us…

What is Purpose?

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Dictionary:

  • The reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists
  • Have as one’s intention or objective
  • A person’s sense of resolve or determination

And WIKI:

  • An object to be reached; a target, aim; goal
  • A result that is desired’ an intention
  • The reason for which something is done, or the reason it is done in a particular way

So according to those Purpose is the reason/intention an action or decision is done or created. It could be a goal that you want to reach, a target you are aiming for or your sense of determination to reach that goal or target in your daily life, your business, your dreams and more.

Purpose in Life

So what is your purpose in life? Well, that could be anything from being the best mother, sister, person you can be to everyone to helping as many people as possible in the form of volunteering, through your job, or another avenue.

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What your purpose for life is has to be chosen by you. It’s what gets you up every morning, what excites you, what you enjoy on an emotional level. Your purpose is a plan for your life and helps define your personal goals. It fills you with passion and keeps you going throughout the day.

Purpose in Business

Purpose in your business is centered toward others. What can you do for others? This may take some time to figure out, but like us it matures, develops, and grows over time. It’s like a plant fighting the elements to grow roots and survive the heat of the afternoon sun. Once it gets established it flourishes into something beautiful for all to see.

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Once you find that purpose it will guide you and inspire you to create value for your customers, readers, and others who come along your site, product, or other aspect of your business.

Purpose for You

Purpose is shown through our actions, the items we create even if that is something fun with your children. It’s not something you can buy, or achieve. We must choose it for ourselves, nurture it, form it and grow it into something tangible.

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The goals, dreams, and tasks we try to achieve each day work toward your purpose. In small ways, your purpose reveals itself to you as you go about your day. Pay close attention and it will prosper. Once you have it, it will help you overcome the obstacle you’re facing to move forward with your goals, dreams, and your life.

How to Find Your Purpose

Many would say that your purpose (or purpose for your business) is your calling, what you enjoy, what gets you excited to rise each morning and get enough sleep at night, but how do you find your purpose?

That is something you need to discover for yourself. Look around you at what activities make you feel most excited or at ease? Sometimes your purpose isn’t always on the run, it’s resting and feeling fulfilled with what you’ve done.

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What is it that brings you the most joy? What makes you happiest about life and what do you value the most? Take some time to discover your purpose. Be attuned to what you do daily at home, at work and in your business, write down the things that answer the above questions. What those items have in common may just be your purpose. You will find it, keep searching.

Keep Your Purpose Visible

I read a recent TedTalk that discussed purpose. The author spoke of how he met a young man who referred to an activity his dad created for his boys. When putting a puzzle together, their father would hid the lid and have the boys complete the puzzle without the picture.

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He mentioned that your purpose is like that box top with the picture. You need to reference your purpose in order to achieve the goals and dreams you’ve placed in front of you. So when you find your purpose, keep that picture close and keep it visible.

What is your purpose in life? What is the purpose of your business? Do your goals serve a purpose?

 

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May’s Writing Theme: Where is Your Progress At?

Since we are one quarter into the year, I thought we could write about (and analyze) where we are, where we are going, and what we have done to get us to this point. So for this month we are writing our progress on whatever you have going on right now. Writing related or not. We are here to support you!

Where is

 

Example: For my example this month I will refer you to my blog as I have already given my progress for the quarter there. My Progress So Far… Check it out to see where I am and where I plan to go to reach my goals.

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My Progress so Far…

One quarter gone… Where did the time go?

We are now one quarter of the way through the year and I thought it would be a good time to review my goals and see where my progress is at. So let’s get right into it…

Books

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Publish 3 Novels by 12/31

  • I would like to say that I am progressing here, but it is definitely slow going as I am in the process of revising book one of the Conquer the Darkness Series due to a publishing conflict.
  • Book 4 is still in the editing stages due to the revision of book one
  • Book 5 is being written, though slower than I would have liked.

~ Some life events took precedence this quarter and I’ve gotten a bit behind here, but never fear, I’ll get back on track bringing you awesome stories and fantastic content!

Read 12 Books in Genre by 12/31

  • So far I have read three of the twelve books, so I am behind one book. The last book I read was really hard for me to get through and caused me to put it down for several days at a time before picking it back up.

~ Now that I am through that one, I’m ready to pick another and forge ahead!

Read 6 Books NOT in Genre by 12/31

  • One down, one in progress and four to go!

Organize a group of Beta readers for my books by 4/30

  • Again I’ve done research and have a goal of getting qualified readers for my Beta group, but have yet to gain actual people to be in the group. So, now I ask you… would you like to be a part of my team? Gain free ARC of my books? And read some awesome fiction? Click Beta Readers if interested and lets go on an adventure!

Find an Editor I connect with by 6/30

  • Uh! I haven’t even thought about this for more than two seconds! Still one of my goals, but my writing comes first and since I’ve lost time on that all my thoughts are on catching up. Hopefully, my next report will be better on this front.

Organize a Critique Group who enjoys my genre and will give productive feedback by 3/31

  • Yet another area I’ve worked on very little. I’ve signed up for Scribofile, which is on-line critiques of your work, but you have to critique and gain points before you can publish your own work to be critiqued.
  • I’ve also started a Wattpad account and have submitted a short story. Head on over to check it out and tell me what you think!
  • Otherwise, that’s as far as I’ve gotten on this. Comment below or click Critique Partner if you’d be interested in being a critique partner for Paranormal Romance/Fantasy books.

Create and Implement Street and Review Team for Books by 4/30

  • Oh my goodness! Does the chaos never cease? Hopefully, I can get my butt into gear since I took nearly a month off for family reasons. One more thing to add to my list of things to do and very soon. If interested please sign up here.
           

Communication

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Post 26 Blog Posts Every Other Week in 2018

  • Luckily, this is one area I’ve excelled at. I haven’t missed a post yet!
  • Have a topic you would like me to elaborate on? Comment below and I will add it to my list!

Be More Communicative on Social Media and Online: Comment on Posts and in forums, Post advice, comments, thoughts and questions on social Media.

  • I’ve started posting irregularly on my social media accounts, but I’m starting to get better at being on there regularly. More to come!

Business

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I’ll keep these as a list as they don’t nee much explanation:

Grow Business by 25% by 12/31

~ Going Up!

Create New Products and Useful Printables for Readers and Writers – 2 by 12/31

~ Working on! You’re going to love these!

Start Using Video in Marketing by 6/30

~ Lots of video training, may get this up before scheduled!

Create/Participate in 2 Big Events for Readers: Haha, I have thoughts, but what’s the fun in ruining the surprise here! 😉

~ Research and development are underway!

Create 100 total items for store by 1/31 and continue with 5 more per month after January. Want to visit my store, click HERE!

~ No where even close to 100 products, so I’m doing what I can and I’ll keep moving to gain more.

Try out New list of Marketing Ideas and record results.

~ Working on and progressing well!

Revamp Webpage and Pages by 3/30

~ New site is up and most pages are complete, just a few more pics and tweaks to go!

Extras/Other

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What better way to keep up with your skill than to lean more about it?

Complete 3 Educational Courses by 12/31

~ I’ve complete three already and it’s only been four months!

Schedule Time to Work on Drawing and Take Art Classes (Once a Week)

~ This was going well, and I hope to get back into it soon!

What About You?

What About

Are you reaching your 2018 goals? 

Are you completing and accomplishing the tasks you set out to do? Let me know in the comments below. Let’s keep each other accountable!

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Patreon Benefits

Patreon Benefits For Authors and Writers

Nothing is better for Authors and writers than gaining the support of their readers. Whether that is liking posts, reading their books, writing reviews, critiquing their work and more. Let’s talk about another platform that you could be utilizing to support your favorite writer, author or creative entrepreneur. Yep, I’m talking about Patreon! I’ve noticed that quite a few artists and creatives have begun to use Patreon for various reasons:

Communication ~

As with blogs, social media and websites Patreon connects with them all to offer another platform to communicate with fans, readers and audiences from all over.

  • Not only do they provide a way to keep readers up to date with posts, it also allows you to create additional content for those that become a patreon of your page.
  • Connect your website and social media sites to provide more ways to find you and what you are posting.
  • One thing that I love about this site it the fact that you can provide an Intro Video, giving your readers, fans and audiences a face and personality to go along with the person they are supporting.
  • There is the ability to provide additional information with adding graphics and video into your posts.

Community ~

Community is an important part of any creatives repertoire. With Patreon you can build a community with others just as amazing as you!

  • Like, comment, follow and support others like-minded creatives who love the same things as you
  • Or ones who don’t! Inspiration comes from everywhere
  • Communicate with creatives in your field such as graphic designers, cover artists, marketers and more!
  • There is no limit when you are surrounded by others who are working toward a similar goal.

Linking ~

Patreon, like many other sites allow you to connect to your other sites for better conversion rates and communication.

  • Link your website (and don’t forget to add that on your posts along with your author page)
  • Link your social media (Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and Twitch for gamers)
  • Don’t forget you can add links in any of your posts!

Patreon Extras ~

Man, did I forget to mention the rewards… and more?

  • If you visit most patreon pages, the right hand side is a column of rewards for becoming a patreon member. You could receive anything from Patreon Only posts to free goodies and more!
  • Also, if you are an Author, you can offer a reward section for early releases or sneak peeks of your work!
  • There are many things to provide as rewards
    • Sneak peeks
    • ARC
    • Short stories
    • Author Merchandise/Swag
    • Coupons/Discounts
    • And more!

If you are thinking of starting a Patreon page (or supporting a journeying author) check out Patreon or My Patreon page to find out more.

My 2018 Goals

It’s getting to be the end of the year and I’ve been working on plans for next year.

While thinking of what I really wanted to do with my business and how I want to move forward with my books, I find myself realizing that my goals from last year were… well, dull. Though they fit my business there was really no depth to them and to the business itself. If I want to make writing my career, I need to be more specific and defined with my goals for my business and my books.

My thoughts here are to keep myself accountable to my goals and my business by publishing them for others to witness. I did come a tad short from my goals last year as my fourth book will be published by the end of January. I realized I pushed myself to do to much without a team to keep me focused and motivated as far as my business is concerned. So without further jabbering from me, here are my goals for 2018.

Books

Publish 3 Novels by 12/31

  • Though my goal last year was to publish four books, I have written four, but will be unable to complete the last as the holidays and the need for much required rest has taken presidents since I have stretched myself further than I can go within the last few weeks. So for 2018 I have reduced my number of published novels by one to give myself the needed rejuvenation required to keep motivated and productive throughout the year.

Read 12 Books in Genre by 12/31

  • With keeping up with reading I have surpassed my goal for this year and will repeat it for next year to keep the inspiration and imagination flowing. What better way to stay creative that to read those who have come before you?

Read 6 Books NOT in Genre by 12/31

  • This I have not kept up with this year, though I have read a few books not on my genre. I intend to keep reading so that my creativity is at it’s max for Inspiration as well as continued education on the industry.

Organize a group of Beta readers for my books by 4/30

  • There are some parts of being an author that I have really slacked on and wish to remedy as soon as I’m able. This area would be one of them. I plan to gather a dedicated group of people who would like to receive ARC of my book to read and reply with suggestions. I am offering this to anyone interested, and you could be the first. Click HERE to let me know you are interested.

Find an Editor I connect with by 6/30

  • Here is another that I am in need of. I understand the importance of hiring a professional editor and funds have not been enough to accommodate this need. My hope is to remedy that this year and hire a professional editor to edit my books to create a better reading experience for my readers.

Organize a Critique Group who enjoys my genre and will give productive feedback by 3/31

  • Another area that has been lacking this year. I would like to find like-minded people interested in the same Genre to participate in a critique exchange for our stories. Here is another opportunity to find a critique partner. Click HERE to find out more.

Create and Implement Street and Review Team for Books by 4/30

  • One more item to participate in: My plan is to create a Street Team and Review Team for my Novels as they become available. If you would like to be a part of that when the time comes, Click HERE!

Communication

Post 26 Blog Posts Every Other Week in 2018

  • My goal is to provide you, the reader with insightful and useful information throughout the year. Have a topic you would like me to elaborate on? Comment below and I will add it to my list!

Be More Communicative on Social Media and Online: Comment on Posts and in forums, Post advice, comments, thoughts and questions on social Media.

  • Another goal is to provide more communication with you, my readers; with advice, encouragement, and more.

Business

I’ll keep these as a list as they don’t nee much explanation:

Grow Business by 25% by 12/31

Create New Products and Useful Printables for Readers and Writers – 2 by 12/31

Start Using Video in Marketing by 6/30

Create/Participate in 2 Big Events for Readers: Haha, I have thoughts, but what’s the fun in ruining the surprise here! 😉

Create 100 total items for store by 1/31 and continue with 5 more per month after January. Visit my store, FictionJourneys!

Try out New list of Marketing Ideas and record results.

Revamp Webpage and Pages by 3/30

Extras/Other

What better way to keep up with your skill than to lean more about it?

Complete 3 Educational Courses by 12/31

Schedule Time to Work on Drawing and Take Art Classes (Once a Week)

How About You?

What are your goals for 2018? 

What things do you want to get done this year? Care to share to keep each other accountable? I’d love to read what your thoughts are. Comment below!

Where Am I Headed?

With June beginning, it’s time to begin contemplating of my next project. My series is underway with the second book coming out at the end of this month along with a stand alone novel. So what is next for me? Where do I go now?

Well, continue my series of course! The next in this 7-8 book series (who knows there could be more) is the story of Jazzmine. One of the additional five women held captive by Dr. Simonson alongside Blessing. So where is she? What type of affect did his experiments have on her? How is she dealing with her return to society? Well, you will have to wait and read her story. 🙂

I can however give you a glimpse of her background:

Jazzmine grew up with three sisters and two brothers who always told each other everything. They made a pact to always be there for each other in whatever life threw at them. But with Jazzmine’s rescue, her family shunned her as a freak and abomination, not able to understand or deal with what she was becoming. They no longer welcomed her into their homes or their lives. She is now in hiding and refuses to show herself to anyone, keeping to the shadows and taking what she needs from unsuspecting passersby. Without the connection of her once tight knit family, she knows not how to handle what is happening to her inside, out, or her exile.

Want to read more? Good!

Keep an eye out for Jaxmine due at the end of September! For now you can catch Raylynn’s Story (Book 1) free on most retailers and Blessing due to publication on June 30th!

There is not greater journey than the imagination of an author creates for their readers. Have fun reading the Conquer the Darkness Series and let me know what you think! I would love to hear from you!

Writing Distractions and How to Overcome Them

There is nothing worse than sitting down to write, having everything ready; your notes, inspiration, tools and energy, to hear a notification go off or the dreaded “Mom” shouted from the next room. Distractions are part of a writer/author’s life. How we handle them and overcome them can make all the difference in having a successful writing session or not.

Today I have compiled some distractions you may or may not deal with as you sit to write your next big story and how to overcome them.  Let’s get started, shall we…

Comparing Yourself to Others

Distraction:

 

 

You remember sitting on the couch, relaxing, reading a novel by your favorite author who has created a stunningly amazing story with great characters, beautifully crafted settings and an amazing plot the night before. Now your mind gets in the way by telling you, “I will never be as great as this author no matter how hard I try.”

Overcome:

 

You, my dear writer/author are an amazing person to have come as far as you have. Whether you are published or just starting, you have already overcome the biggest hurdle in writing: Beginning. You have begun and that in itself is an amazing feat. As long as you keep to your journey nothing can stop you. Find encouragement from others. Check out my Pinterest board for some awesome quotes. (I also post these on all my social media every Sunday to inspire others. 🙂 ) Collect inspiring and encouraging phrases on Pinterest or in a journal to look at as needed or every day before you begin. Join a writing group and communicate with others how they handle this distraction or any others on this list for that matter. I guess the main idea here is: Find encouragement!

 

Feeling Sorry for Yourself

Distraction:

You haven’t reached your goal this week/month/year or your story didn’t turn out exactly like you had planned. Now you are having a pity party.

Overcome:

Know that you are not alone in this. Every writer/author encounters setbacks, but it’s climbing over those mountains and continuing on the journey that sets us apart from the rest of the crowd.

Ex. I almost forgot about this weeks planned post even though I have a reminder in my calendar for it. I have been too preoccupied with a different distraction to realize I may fall behind. My choice was to either work harder against my distraction to get it done or submit a late entry. The later didn’t sit well with me so I worked to complete it.

Ex. My recently published book “Raylynn“, I originally planned for her to be a secretary for a large office, but she decided she didn’t want that and became a nurse instead. I totally believe characters will sometimes control the story, which in this case, she certainly did.

Family and Friends

Distraction:

Boy is this one a daily occurrence with me. With pets and two younger children literally running around the dining room table for fun while laughing can be a major distraction. Don’t get me wrong it’s a wonderful sound since my two, like many other children, don’t always get along. So how do you keep the little monsters busy while you get some much needed writing done? How about your spouse or other relatives and friends needing attention?

Overcome:

Pawn the wee ones off on your significant other! OR…, you could schedule reading time while you write to hone their reading skills, put on their favorite movie with a snack, let them have their hour of electronics to play a game, or take them to the park and find inspiration along the way to keep you writing.

Get your spouse, family and friends on board. Explain how important this is to you and create a family/friends group to encourage and support for everyone’s projects currently in progress. Everyone can use encouragement from time to time. Discuss it with them, make sure activities are planned and understood that during that time you/they are not to be disturbed. You can create a Facebook Group, Google Hangout, etc. to get together and discuss what you are currently working on and where you are in the process. Once people feel included and see just how much you truly care and how far you have come, they will respect you and may just start asking for advice!

Pets

Distraction:

Animals of any kind need attention and caring for. They always seem to need it when you are hard a work writing.

Overcome:

See if a neighbor or close friend can take care of your animal(s) while you work (That’s if they are really close. I don’t expect you to drive across town for a 30 min to an hour of writing time and then go back to get them, unless you choose to.) If you have someone walk your dog, have it correlate with your writing time. If that is not an option, make sure they have all they need before beginning: food, water, toys, a treat maybe. If your family is around see if they can care for the animals while you get some much needed writing done.

Work/Busy Lifestyle

Distraction:

That dreaded 9 to 5, 7 to 3, 3 to 11, 11 to 7 or anything in-between! I have worked them all as well as a mix working some in the morning and coming back in the evening. Not fun and I lost so much time with my children, but that is another story. Let’s stay on track. 😉 How do you get the time to write while balancing a full/part-time job?

I am way to busy to write. There are just to many things to get done, to many things I am involved in!

Overcome:

Look at how you use your day, record your results for a week and see if there are any spaces you can squeeze in some writing time. During your lunch hour (total me!), the bus or train ride from/to home, the few minutes you have in the morning while you are sipping coffee, or a bit of time right before bed. Find those little moments and use them to your advantage.

 Even if you have a busy lifestyle, I bet there are still minutes scattered around that you can use to get some writing in. Again, observe your schedule for a week and see where you can squeeze in some writing time. During work breaks, during kids extra-curricular activities, etc. You can always find a bit of time if you just look.

 

Dating (Online of Off)

Distraction:

You’ve just met this awesome person online or off that you want to get to know better. (I have to say I have never done the online thing and prefer to meet people face to face, but that’s coming from someone who married her high school sweetheart, so you could just ignore that. 🙂 )

Overcome:

If this person respects you in your writing endeavors, they will honor your time to write as well by not interrupting you. If you really feel like this person is special, have them be an accountability partner. Someone who encourages you and keeps you accountable to your goals.

Household Chores/Maintenance

Distraction:

The house is a mess. The laundry needs to get done and the garage needs to to be cleaned out.

Overcome:

The best way to do this is if you have kids, give them some of the chores. Ones you feel they could do without hinderance or harming themselves and plan out the rest on days you have more time. Start picking up before bed so that you won’t have to do it in the morning and have the kids clean up after themselves. (A chore in itself, I know. I’m still working on my own kids with this one.) That goes for your significant other as well. The less you have to worry about the more you can concentrate on what you love, writing… or time with said family.

Too Tired

Distraction:

There are so many things going on, I am just too tired to work on this.

Overcome:

Well, yes, writing can add to your list of items to do, but this is where you get to use your imagination, ideas and inspirations to create something awesome.

 Eat something with high energy (remember to stay healthy, you don’t want to crash), drink plenty of water, sit in your favorite spot and type one word, then another and another. Soon, you will have a paragraph and then a page, then a chapter! And you said you were too tired! This is were sheer determination comes into play. If you have a positive/negative reward system in place, keep that positive reward in your mind as you write. You don’t want to disappoint your fans, or yourself for that matter.

Continuing Education/Internet

Distraction:

This one comes to bite me on a nearly daily basis. I find myself thinking, “I could always know more about this topic or that topic and spend hours researching, reading and taking notes on things I would probably be able to write my own book for now that I have research it so much. Although my brain tells me, “You could always have another copy” or “You may learn something new from this one.”

 Trying to find that last piece of information, surfing social media, or just looking at news. The internet is full of distractions.

  Overcome:

To overcome this, I believe it is best to have a schedule in place. Choose a day or set a time limit for research and only spend that day or time on it. Once that timer goes off, save your spot and move forward. You don’t want to do what I have done for the last few days (without realizing) that I have spent all that time researching and learning without actually putting it to any good use and writing.

There are plenty of apps and programs that will lock access to the net for a time you specify so that it is not a distraction. Some, if not most, will work on computers as well as devices. Again, you could schedule time or use it as a reward. Create a list of rewards and choose one for the session you complete.

Obsessing Over Routine

Distraction:

You have a routine that is precisely planned to the day, hour or even minute and nothing is going to veer you from your course.

Overcome:

Yes, I did just suggest a schedule and with that comes routine, but lets not take that so far as to forget everything else. Stick to it as much as you can. You are not a robot programmed to perform exactly on cue. You must live and enjoy life to be an excellent writer/author. Where do you think all that inspiration comes from? Living! Create a routine, but don’t feel like you have lost everything if you take a day to relax that wasn’t planned or something comes up that was a surprise. Your career will still be here when you return and when you do, you will be there ten fold!

Trying to Find the Quick Fixes

Distraction:

Trying to find a faster or easier way of doing things. Faster writing, easier planning, quicker outcome but still quality.

Overcome:

The phrase, “Slow and steady wins the race” comes to mind here. Although, there may be some ways to make things seem quicker or easier, you may find that your story is lacking the quality it once had because of it. Or what you thought was quicker or easier for one person is definitely not for you. Find what works for you and stick with it. This may take time, but you will benefit in the long run. Once you have structure and systems in place things will naturally flow faster and become easier.

Researching Yourself/News/Internet

Distraction:

I have not personally had this distraction, but I guess it could be if you wanted to look up every last bit of information about yourself that is floating around on the net. (Seriously, I didn’t mean to freak you out about that if you haven’t thought about it before.)

 Now, I don’t understand how this could be possible because I avoid news like the plague. Too much sadness and politics for me so I just don’t watch it or look at it. Of course I can’t avoid it all, but it is just not something I am interested in. I could see how it could interest others with different tastes.

Overcome:

Stop looking! No, but seriously. If you are that concerned I can only guess that you have something that you want to hide. If it is necessary, lock your internet while you write and you can resume your self stalking after.

 If you must obsess over the latest news, use it to your advantage. Creatively use it within your story line. Someone seeing that article in the news or reading in the paper. Maybe it relates to your protagonists career and it could put a damper on their latest project. Use it as research or limit the time you take to read and discuss it.

 

Internet Celebrities (Animal or Human)

Distraction:

That cute angry cat is at it again. You must see the latest picture, meme, item of the animal sensation or the latest gossip on your favorite celebrity.

Overcome:

I don’t have any problem with this, but I know people who follow them religiously. My thoughts would be to schedule your viewing session in before you write. (You never know where inspiration could hit, you may get an idea from viewing them. Just don’t use that as an excuse. That is not research unless you actually use the information!) Otherwise, use that as a reward for completing your writing goals. What better reward than something you truly love to follow.

Waiting for Inspiration/Not Knowing What to Write

Distraction:

You are at a certain point in your story and you are running flat. Your brain just cannot think of anything else interesting to say.

Ahh! I have no idea what to write! My mind is completely blank! HELP!

Overcome:

Keep a list of prompts either on paper, computer, or Pinterest that you could possibly use for the story you are currently writing. I keep a board specifically for that and as I gather notes, ideas, and other useful information I will list the prompts that may come in handy to use later as needed. You never know when you could use a good plot twist, creative dialogue, or picture to inspire the words to flow!

 Again, this is where real research comes in handy. Save those that you can use for inspiration somewhere. Any app or program you are comfortable using and refer to them when you need inspiration. During one of your research binges, look up ideas and prompts that might be helpful.

 

Social Media

Distraction:

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest: There are so many social media outlets these days and they can all be a distraction to your writing.

Overcome:

One way to combat this is to turn off all notifications on all devices. I did this a few months back and I could not be happier with my results. I spend a little bit of time in the evenings checking the ones I’m most interested in. You could also schedule a time period to look at them and then pry yourself away when your time limit is up. You could also, during a quick scan, save the articles you want to look at and come back to them when you have more time. Facebook does this very well.

Netflix

Distraction:

They finally added the new season of my favorite show! There are so many shows to choose from! This show is my research for my next book!

Overcome:

Ok, I can see how this would be a distraction. I have binge watched plenty of shows on Netflix. If you are seriously using this as a research tool, then you better have paper and pen or tablet/iPad to be recording your notes for your next project. Otherwise, you need to do something to regulate your viewing habits. This may seem extreme, but if it is possible, you could set parental controls and have your spouse enter a password you won’t know. You would have to go through them to use the app. I know I have said this about many of these, but the more rewards you can choose from the better, right? Use it as a reward for writing for a certain period or number of words.

Schedule a time to use it and get off as soon as that time is up and if all else fails, uninstall it! You could be hindering your writing career if you cannot get your habit under control.

Checking Sales (Business)

Distraction:

You finally got that first, second, third book published and you are dying to see how sales are. Have they skyrocketed? Have they plummeted? Has it moved at all?

Overcome:

First, concentrate on providing awesome stories and content to your readers. Your sales will follow (with well planned and executed marketing). That one book is going to lead the way to your fans wanting more, so do them a favor and begin your next story for them to enjoy.

Second, don’t set any notifications (email, app, etc) to notify you of a sale. You don’t need the pressure to look as you continue your writing journey.

Last, schedule or use as a reward at the end of you writing session to see how well your sales are doing. If your sales are going up, that is a great motivator and you are well on your way to creating more fantastic stories to go along with the one(s) you currently have published.

Plotting Future Novel

Distraction:

You start writing and another idea for a book/article comes to mind. You open another document and set to work plotting that one, then another idea comes and you open yet another document.

Overcome:

It is awesome that you are coming up with new material as you write, but going from one to another to another is not going to get your writing career to the success you want or deserve. Write those ideas in a spiral, a notes app on your device where you can keep all your new ideas and then get back to work on your current project. Not much to this one, but keep in mind that it’s hard to juggle four, five, or six projects when you could already be done with one and moving on to the next.

Wanting to Write on Paper

Distraction:

You are so tired of looking at this stupid screen and you want to use pen on paper.

Overcome:

Go ahead and use paper and pen if you want, just know that you will have to eventually type it all into a document anyway if you want to publish it. One other thing you can do is, invest in a good stylus and note app that allows you to write in your own hand. I have an iPad Pro and an Apple Pencil. I downloaded Upad 3 and use them to write notes long hand to save for future reference. (Check out a recent post on how I use my Upad 3 app here.)

Snacking

Distraction:

I don’t know what it is when you sit in that chair, it’s like your body is working against you. I am always looking for snacks that are small and in pieces to have while I work. My go to right now: Bunch a Crunch. I know, it’s not healthy, but I’m a chocolate lover so… yeah.

Overcome:

If you can afford to (and I would love to do this) put a cabinet or mini-fridge in your office and stock it with healthy snacks and drinks so you only have to roll over and grab what you want, no need to even get out of your chair. Let’s try not to over do it though. If that is not an option, gather the things you will need to satisfy you before you start so that you don’t feel like you are getting up every ten minutes to hunt for a snack. Try for something healthy to keep your energy up. Raisins are my go to when I have them. See, I can be healthier than Bunch a Crunch! 🙂

Health

Distraction:

All I do is sit at this computer all day. I’m worried that my health is declining. Writers/authors aren’t very active while writing, you know.

Overcome:

Well, you could schedule a time to exercise, get a desk that requires you to stand while working or even invest in one that is attached to a treadmill so you can walk while you work. (If you are handy with tools, you could build one onto an existing treadmill!) I would love one of those since walking is what I like to do for exercise!

Phone

Distraction:

That darn contraption was created as a distraction! Phone calls, notifications, email… it’s a writers/authors nightmare!

Overcome:

Put that thing on silent or somewhere out of earshot. Even better, do both! I tend to tell myself that it has to charge and will put it on our charging stand in another room so I can’t hear any notifications (since I turned them off anyway) or calls and won’t be distracted by it.

 

Windows

Distraction:

Well, looking out the windows on a nice day could invoke feelings of enjoying the hot summer days outside on the patio with a refreshing drink.

Overcome:

Hmm, if you can get any work done while being out there, then by all means… enjoy! If not, well then you will have to close yourself in a dark room with a light and hope for the best. Seeing the outdoors should encourage you to continue on, once you get things going and systems become familiar, you will have plenty of time to enjoy the outdoors while you write.

What writing distractions do you have and how do you overcome them? Did I miss any that should be added? Please comment below! I would love to hear your story!!

My Year Plan



All of the thoughts and opinions herein are that of the author and were never influenced by any of the mentioned companies. 

This year I am determined to put systems in place to accomplish my goals. If I took a glance at last year I would have one word for it… disappointing.

This year my goals as outlined HERE are well on there way and I can safely say that even though we are not yet through January, I am ahead of schedule with my posts and well on my way to reaching my goals.

I wanted to share how I planned out my year with you so that perhaps it will give you insight to my planning process and how I endeavor to succeed this year.

I feel very disorganized when I have to use a multitude of programs for my schedules, plans and written notes so I did some research and came across one app that does almost everything I want! Unfortunately, there are a few things that it does not do so I had to find another program for the rest of my needs.

UPAD3

I recently came across an app called Upad3, which after using it for a few weeks, I absolutely love. I can use their preloaded templates to plan my day, week ,month, year, write notes, add pictures, websites, create folders, etc. It has really created a space for me to see all of my notes, agendas, and inspiration all in one place. It works with the Apple pencil on the Ipad Pro which is another thing I love. Writing with the Apple pencil provides a sense of writing on paper and i can have it saved to refer back to. (Sometimes I like to see my own handwriting instead of typed words.) The shot below contains an image of my folders and how I am currently using this app.

As you can see I have a folder for Business, Personal, and Daily. Within those folder there may or may not be other folders. For example: my Business folder has internal folders labeled Projects, Organization, and Notes. Though, I really hate to spend money on apps like this, 5.99 was really worth it for me.

Although, this does have many calendar templates for use, it does not integrate with other apps so if you use another calendar you will be doing double duty having to enter it here. I find my google calendar works better since I can create deadlines and alarms for projects and items that need done by a specific time or date.

 17hats

I have also started using 17hats for business and product planning. Although, I will use Upad3 for notes on my projects I keep track of the phases of my projects in 17hats. This also comes with a calendar to plan and create deadlines which I was able to integrate with my google calendar so that I can see my projects on any device within or out of the app. This program also has it’s own to do list, an area for you to keep track of leads, projects, contacts, create invoices, view workflow and bookkeeping. You can integrate other apps (although few at present) with this program as long as you upgrade to one of their paid programs (except for google calendar), but as of right now I am ok with the free version. Customize the background to fit your own tastes and work within an environment of your making.

Have any apps or programs that you couldn’t live without? Tell me about them. I am always trying to simplify my life for as little money as possible.

My Goals for 2017

So, without further ado, here are my goals for 2017:

Goals

  • Publish four short stories by December 31, 2017
    • Stories are my passion. I love the characters, the journey, the settings, quests, character growth, surprises, twists, and everything included in a good story. My hope is that you love my stories as much as I do.
  • Read 12 books in my chosen genre by December 31, 2017d
    • Not only is ready my chosen genre enjoyable, it can be inspirational, enlightening, and can cause a sense of peace when reading the words of a fellow author.
  • Read 4 books not in my chosen genre by December 31, 2017
    • I am usually only interested in my chosen genre, hence the reason for choosing it, but I realize I need to branch out!
  • Post 26 blog post with interesting, useful or entertaining information by December 31, 2017
    • More is always welcome, right. I’m just starting so I don’t want to overdo myself. My goal is to become more connected with my readers and provide information that inspires and assists others with their dreams while I am following my own.
  • Complete 3 educational courses
    • Continuing education is a way to hone your skills, flesh out a project while learning something new. You can never go wrong with learning more on your chosen industry.
  • Grow my business by 5% by December 31, 2017
    • I’m starting slow, feel free to give me pointers! I have been working on this business for the last year, probably longer, but this year I want to get serious and begin growing it to the level I believe I can accomplish and further!
  • Publish novel by June 30, 2017
    • I have really been working on this novel for the last 15 years on and off. It is one believe in. I have recently been heading back to this novel with edits and rewrites. My goal is to finally get this novel published by this summer! Wish me luck!

These are my main goals for this year and I have spent the time to plan ahead with some posts and story lines as well as creating deadlines for each. If I can accomplish all of my goals by the end of the year, it will be the best birthday present I could give myself since it is the day before!

What are some of your goals for 2017? What encouragement would you give a fellow writer?